How Data Powers Next Generation Membership – The Highlight Reel

If you didn’t tune in for Association Chat #assnchat Tuesday, you missed not one, but TWO amazing episodes! In our first episode we talked all things leadership with our wise old (not-so-old but he’s been doing this for over 35 years!) mentor JP Moery (@jpmoery), President of the Moery Company.

You can check out the first episode’s summary here:
Membership Recruitment & Engagement Strategies That Work – The Highlight Reel

After our chat with JP, we kept the virtual fire ignited by chatting with Joe Colangelo (@joecolangelo), CEO & Co-Founder, Bear Analytics, and Susan Cato (@susancato), Director, Digital Strategy and Member Services, American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB).

Our Second Topic: How Data Powers Next Generation Membership

Check out the highlights of the chat below or listen in to the replay here:


Our weekly host KiKi alerted us to, “buckle up our seatbelts because this chat was going to be a bumpy ride.” A ‘bumpy ride’ full of a ton of helpful information that is!

We dove into the discussion with a stellar first question, “How has ASPB’s main value proposition changed over the last three to four years?”

Susan let us know that they’ve been on a journey and that what it really came down to is how they nurture their relationships! “It’s become more about the relationship and how we engage with the community to help them solve their problems and fill their needs.”

Though Joe’s connection was a little shaky his discussion was nothing but solid! “Everyone is a little sensitive about their data… If you have dirty data, we’re going to jump over those hurdles. Let’s focus on the fundamental questions that we’re trying to answer.”

Patty commented: “So smart to work the strategy and not just focus on the fact that the data was a little dirty.”

“Like many organizations we were working in a pretty siloed way,” said Susan. “But we didn’t do a good job of connecting the dots between all of those groups. We sort of had these blinders on.”

Susan acknowledges that Joe and Bear Analytics helped ASPB get back on track by growing her list from 4,000 to 40,000 members!

Weekly #assnchat viewer Benji was impressed and commented, “Great way to use to data to find hidden awesomeness with the help of Bear Analytics.”

A huge tip that Susan wanted to provide was, “Partner with other organizations to make the community stronger.”

Around this time we kept doing a dance with Joe and faulty wifi! We’re betting Gucci is behind the faulty wireless connection.

Without skipping a beat KiKi and Susan kept the virtual fire lit, “What information do we need in order to intelligently put the right things in front of the right people at the right times?” Susan said she asks her team.

Joe was able to contribute to the discussion momentarily by adding something smart and insightful, “using a theme can help you prioritize getting to your goals and focus on what matters most. Let’s dig where we think there is the most opportunity.”

Leading Susan to really emphasize these three terms, “Content, Growth, and Engagement.”

The biggest takeaways from this chat:

  • “Journey is the perfect word for any data project… it’s not a one and done thing as behaviors are always changing.” – Susan
  • “Focus on what matters first and foremost.” – Joe
  • The best way to grow your data list is through content, growth, and engagement.
  • Wifi cannot be trusted.

What was your favorite piece of data advice from Susan and Joe? We want to know! Tweet @assnchat using #assnchat to share your thoughts.

Want more of KiKi and Bear Analytics? Look into attending Bear Analytics “Ask Me Anything” session to unlock the secrets to association data on 10/18: Getting Real With Data

Need more information to take your brand forward? Check out these helpful articles:

If they don’t want to be members, give them something else to join:

Membership Memo: Growth Factor

A Few Great Ideas From Great Ideas 2016


Like Association Chat? Show your support by joining our Association Chat Facebook Group and subscribing to next week’s show! Association Chat is coming your way a brand new episode on Tuesday 10/18 at 2pm EDT. Subscribe to the chat here: Turning Your Org’s Continuing Education into a Competitive Advantage


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